Filing for Bankruptcy Alone When You’re Married: What You Need to Know
Filing for bankruptcy alone when you are married can seem like a complicated process. This article highlights the challenges and concerns you may face in this situation.
Filing for Bankruptcy Alone: The Basics
Filing alone means only one spouse declares bankruptcy. When only one spouse files for bankruptcy, the process is slightly more complicated because couples assets and debts must be analyzed to see how they will be treated in the bankruptcy.
Property and Debt
A major concern is how filing alone affects shared property and debt. Florida is not a community property state so the ownership of your property and debt aren’t divided equally just because you are married.
In Florida, untitled assets will be either presumed to be owned 50/50 or they will be completely protected as tenants by the entirety property. Titled assets will be owned by the spouse whose name is on the title.
Finally, debts are considered to be owed by the person who borrowed the funds. This is usually the person whose name is on creditor’s invoices. If both spouses’ names are one the invoice then it is a joint debt. The bankruptcy of one spouse won’t discharge the debt for the non-filing spouse.
Protecting Your Spouse
Filing alone doesn’t automatically impact your spouse’s credit score in Florida. However, falling behind on joint debts will hurt your spouse’s credit.
To protect your spouse during bankruptcy, ensure all joint debts remain current to avoid negative credit effects. You should make sure that the non-filing spouse remains current on all debts – especially joint credit cards and vehicles.
Filing for bankruptcy alone while married presents unique challenges. Seek professional advice, explore all options, and take action to improve your financial situation. Remember, the key is making informed decisions for a better financial future.
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